The National Education Policy 1986 inter-alia recommends state level planning and co-ordination of Higher Education through Councils of Higher Education. In accordance with the policy Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (A.P.S.C.H.E) came into exisistence on 20 May 1988 through an Act of State Legislature and thus became the first State to establish the Council. Subsequently the States of Kerala and Maharashtra have established Higher Education Council.
The Karnataka State Govt. Constituted a task force on Higher Education in 2002 under the Chairmanship of Dr. M.R. Srinivasan Former Chairman of Atomic energy Govt. of India. The task force reiterated the need for a State level planning and co-ordination of Higher Education including University Education through an independent autonomous body for Higher Education, in order to bring out better excellence inclusiveness and accessibility in the Higher Education Sector. The taskforce while recommending for the constitution of the Higher Education Council established.
Prior to the constitution of Higher Education Council the Karnataka State Inter University Board which was established as per the Karnataka State Universities Act 2000 was in existence. The Board by and large consisted of the Vice Chancellors of all the Universities in the State, secretaries to the Govt., Higher Education, Finance Agriculture and Horticulture Department, Planning Department, Medical Education Department, Social Welfare Department, Commissioners of Collegiate Education and Public Instruction; The Directors of Technical Education, Medical Education, Pre University Education as its members. The Secretary, Higher Education was the member Secretary of the Board and the Minister for Higher Education was the Chairman of the Board, the Board met as often as necessary but atleast once in Three months.
The Functions of the Board included co-ordination of development of academic activities consideration of matters affecting students such as their admission, mobility, examinations and the like; studying finances of the University as well as their administrative problems; acting as a co-ordinating agency for funding the Universities by the University Grants Commission and the State Government and reviewing the recruitments and promotion of persons belonging to Schedule Casts (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST).
The recommendations, the resolutions or the decisions of the Board shall subject to the approval of State Government was binding on the Universities in the State the task force while recommending the establishment of the Higher Education Council in the State fell that continuance of the Inter University Board as redundant and therefore suggested that the Board abolished.
In accordance with the National Education Policy and as per the recommendations of the task force the State Govt. considered it expedient to establish a state Council for Higher Education as a collective of the Government, Universities, Academics and experts with a view to forge a synergic relationship among them by occupying an operational space between the Government and the Universities on one hand and between the Universities and apex level regulatory bodies on the other. The Govt. further felt that by establishing the Council it would create an enabling environment for
- Promoting academic excellence and social justice by obtaining academic input for policy formulation and perspective planning;
- Ensuring autonomy and better accountability of all institutions of Higher Education in the State; and
- Guiding the growth of Higher Education in accordance with the Socio-economic requirement of the State.
Accordingly, the State Government through a Govt. order Dated: 15th July 2009 constituted the Karnataka State Council Higher Education, which had 16 eminent educationists as nominated members, besides 17 Vice Chancellors of the State Universities, Secretaries of Higher Education, Medical Education, Finance, Law and Parliamentary affairs, Chief Ministers Adviser on Education as members. Prof. M.I Savadatti former Vice Chancellor of Mangalore University was appointed as Vice-Chairman, Prof. B.R Ananthan former Professor of Management, University of Mysore presently Vice Chancellor of Rani Chennamma University Belgaum was appointed as Member Secretary, The Minister for Higher Education Sri. Aravinda Limbavali was the Ex-officio Chairman of the Council.
The main objective of the Council was to prepare a Draft Bill for the establishment of Higher Education Council in the State, besides this the Council was to consider inventions and innovations in the Higher Education and also guide the Government, Universities and Higher Education Institutions on policy matters.
The Higher Education Council after meetings and several rounds of discussions drafted the Higher Education Council Bill for inclusion in the Karnataka State Universities Act. Finally, the Karnataka State Higher Education Council Act 26 of 2010 it was passed by the Karnataka State Legislature of which received the assent of the Governor of Karnataka on 23rd, July, 2010. A special Gazette Notification was issued on 7th September 2010.
We are a team of 49 members constituted by Govt. of Karnataka as per Karnataka State Higher Education Council Act 2010. Our team consists of members including Vice Chancellors of the State Universities, a nominee of the University Grants Commission, 10 academicians of repute from different disciplines including two women and two belonging to SC and ST as members, the Principal secretaries to Govt., Finance Dept, Higher Education Dept., Medical Education Dept., Primary and Secondary Education Dept., Agricultural Dept., Horticulture Dept., Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences Dept., Social Welfare, Secretaries to Govt., Law and Justice, the Commissioners of Collegiate Education and Pre University Board as Ex-officio members. The Executive Director of the Council is the Ex-officio Member Secretary as Ex-officio members.
An eminent educationist who is or has been the Vice-Chancellor of a University or member of any apex body of Higher Education nominated by the Govt. is the Vice Chairman of the Council; The Hon’ble Minister of Higher Education is its Chairman. The actual composition of the Higher Education Council notified on 20-11-2010 as per the above Act is as follows;
The Act also provides for another smaller body known as Executive Committee which is empowered to take decisions on policy matters on behalf of the Council subject to the concurrence of the Council, it is also the responsibility the committee to deal with certain administrative matters and also preparing the Annual Academic Financial Audit report.
This team consists of Two Vice Chancellors of the Council nominated by rotation by the Council, four of the ten eminent educationists of the Council nominated by rotation by the Council as members; The Principal secretaries to the Govt. Higher Education Dept., Medical Education Dept. are its Ex-officio members. The Executive Director is the Member Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Council is its Chairman.
The Chairman of the Council presides over the meetings of the Council as well as the Executive Committee while the Vice Chairman of the Council presides over these two bodies in the absence of the Chairman of the Council.